straight thinking

When people find out what I do for a living “back home” (New Jersey) their first question often is, “Do you work here in Munich?” My immediate answer is usually “Not at the moment because I cannot design in straight and perpendicular lines only”. Often people look perplexed and change the subject, which is fine by me. Most people do not understand what a garden designer does and I’m not always in the mood to explain it. But my response holds some truth. In a gross generalization, Germans do think in straight lines in all aspects of design. This can be the result of their strong engineering culture. My husband, who works in 2D Design, complains a lot about this phenomena.

Mostly however, it is the very straight, perfectly manicured hedges, which define the linearity of a private property. And within those, most homes are painted stark white. I believe it was Penelope Hobhouse who said, “It’s like planning a garden around a giant refrigerator”.

So my answer is “No” I have not attempted to start a new business during our temporary stay in Bavaria. But I have been a great observer of gardens and the landscapes I have visited.

Now that we’re approaching the end of our stay here I feel that I’ve learned a lot during my “sabbatical” and look forward to incorporating many new ideas in my future projects.

snowy hofgarten

One of my favorite gardens to stroll in Munich is the Hofgarten next to the Residenz (palace). An Italian style Renaissance garden it is known for its colonnade with fabulous acoustics for live musicians and an endless amount of sunny spots for a lunch break. Unfortunately the fountains are covered (almost all fountains in the city are covered with elaborate wooden structures to prevent from freezing) but I prefer this garden any time those awful annuals are not planted.